Avid watchers of nature programmes and wannabe polar scientists, can enjoy a new type of cruise with Hurtigruten next year, when they operate two ships in Antarctica, making them the largest and most diverse provider of active travels to and in the deep South. The MS Midnatsol, currently operating as part of Hurtigruten’s Norwegian coastal voyages programme, will head south to Antarctica and operate with an enhanced entertainment programme including an interactive science lab & dedicated programme for younger guests.
The MS Midnatsol will be based in Punta Arenas & will explore the Chilean fjords, Strait of Magellan & Cape Horn – all before the incredible spectacle that awaits passengers in Antarctica. She will play host to 500 passengers and is large enough to offer an array of facilities on-board, but small enough to be able to offer landings in some incredible places in Antarctica.
Those who have always fancied themselves as a polar scientist can experiment in a new interactive ‘science laboratory’ where they can participate in field experiments such as examining a 3 million year-old piece of ice through a microscope or studying meteors found on shore. They can also enjoy a series of lectures from the team of on-board scientists.
Meanwhile, teenagers can join the ‘Young Explorers’ programme, a packed entertainment programme with a scientific theme but presented in a lively and fun manner, so they will learn while having a good time.
There will also be an array of other activities on-board including film and photography workshops, wine-tasting sessions, barbecues and polar film festivals.
While many cruises to this part of the world offer a very visual experience, with no landings included, the Hurtigruten experience is truly interactive. Go kayaking or snorkeling through the pristine waters or try hiking & snowshoeing on your own polar expedition across the white expanses. There is even the chance to sleep out on deck under the polar skies.
Of course no holiday would be complete without a close encounter with the locals! With no permanent human inhabitants in Antarctica, expect to see an array of birds, dolphins, seals, whales and of course, thousands of penguins.
The Midnatsol’s sister ship, the MS Fram will continue to be based in Ushuaia in Argentina and will offer a more intimate and adult-focussed programme. The MS Fram is the perfect choice for more adventurous travellers, as her size means she can travel further south than her sister ship, visiting places that very few people ever get to see, in fact she offers no less than 40 unique landing sites in Antarctica.
She will offer more challenging & extreme excursions than her sister ship, for example longer and harder hikes and a brand new skiing expedition across the Antarctic Peninsula.
Hurtigruten operate the only ships to focus completely on polar itineraries. Unlike other operations, the ship, Captain and crew do not deploy to the Mediterranean or South Pacific during the summer months, creating an exclusive level of dedicated expertise not found anywhere else.
From September 2016 to April 2017 the MS Midnatsol will operate a total of 16 departures, 10 of these to Antarctica. Prices start from £1,016 for the ‘Cultural contrasts – Through North Atlantic to Africa’, departing on 16 September 2016 (based on two sharing an inside cabin on full board basis). Antarctica itineraries start from £3,535 for the ‘Southern Hemisphere Adventure’ in an inside cabin on full board basis, departing on 1 March 2017. Prices include return flights from Santiago to Punta Arenas. International flights arrangements are offered at a supplement.